The Isotretinoin Products Manufacturers Group (IPMG) reports that most users of the iPLEDGE Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) should now have access to their accounts, one month after a modified program was launched, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Jan. 14.
The IPMG has “created a new tool within the system to help resolve account access for some user groups without using the call center. This tool is intended to allow prescribers and designees to send login links directly to their patients’ desired email address through the Manage Patients page of the iPLEDGE REMS portal,” the FDA statement said.
“Prescribers can also send login links to their designees still having difficulty accessing their iPLEDGE account,” and users should check their emails for messages from iPLEDGE, including spam folders, the FDA advises. The iPLEDGE strategy is designed to prevent fetal exposure to isotretinoin, which is highly teratogenic.
Days after the new, gender-neutral approach to the isotretinoin risk mitigation program was launched on Dec. 13, the FDA convened an emergency meeting with representatives from the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) to discuss the problematic rollout of the program, which was described as disastrous, chaotic, and a failure, with dermatologists on Twitter and elsewhere expressing anger and frustration over not being able to access the program or reach the call center.
A statement by the FDA on Dec. 23 followed, urging manufacturers to develop solutions for the website and to work with the AADA and pharmacy organizations to find solutions that would minimize treatment interruptions during the transition.
The modified REMS, launched on Dec. 13, is designed to make it more inclusive for transgender patients prescribed isotretinoin. Instead of three risk categories (females of reproductive potential, females not of reproductive potential, and males), patients who are prescribed isotretinoin for acne are assigned to one of two risk categories: those who can get pregnant and those who cannot get pregnant.
In the Jan. 14 statement, the FDA notes that the agency is continuing to work with the IPMG regarding the problems clinicians, pharmacists, and patients have had with accessing iPLEDGE over the last month.
“Although there has been progress, there is a significant amount of work still to be done,” the FDA acknowledged. “While we consider potential steps within the scope of FDA’s authorities, we will continue to meet with the IPMG for updates on the status of the problems with the iPLEDGE REMS and their progress towards having the system work as intended for all users.”
This story originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.